The funny thing about Earth 2 is that it’s not Earth 2 anymore. There are Wonders and Sandman people, but the world has been remade anew. Call it Earth 2.1, but they are trying to get their bearings and figure out what their next move will be. We review to answer the question, is it good?
Earth 2: Society #19 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The summary reads:
Fury’s gamble has paid off! Earth-2 is born again, but it’s not the world the heroes remember. As outsiders and the only people alive who know what existed before, they struggle to make sense of their new surroundings. On the surface, it seems to be a glorious new world—but from underneath, a hidden menace surfaces.
Why does this book matter?
Besides the fact that it’s fantastic, it also breaks rules and is doing new things in interesting ways. The characters have no idea what is going on as they opened a magical casket that can remake worlds. This issue is the first in which the world has been revealed to them and it’s…well, perfect. Too perfect!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Let’s hope those mannequins have the right sizes.
This issue takes place over three locations. One focuses on 6 Wonders as they attempt to figure out what to do next (and acquire disguises!), another has Batman, Huntress and his son meeting up with an underground good guy, and the third’s a mysterious villain who appears to be in control of the Sandman characters. Writer Dan Abnett cuts between these stories well, revealing just enough information to make you want more as he cuts away and then back again. The pace is good too, and though there’s very little action in this issue, it’s tense and interesting.
If you dig storytelling you’ll probably love this issue. More information is revealed as to what is going on with the world, offering an intriguing science fiction idea. There’s also some fun being had in regards to a Captain America look-alike with a running joke that’ll give you a chuckle.
The pencils and layouts by Bruno Redondo (with pencils by Vicente Cifuentes on half the book) are great and you’ll hardly notice when they switch off. Juan Albarran inks Redondo’s pages well with a subtle darkness to remind us the bright shiny day isn’t so happy. Cifuentes draws most of the darker scenes that convey a sense of brooding well. Redondo focuses on scenes out in the sunlight with the more positive looking heroes and he makes the characters look bright and positive (save for Fury’s darkly cast eyes). Colorist Rex Lokus does well to make these outdoor scenes feel bright and happy in an almost too happy way that suits the story.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The Wonders acquiring disguises spend much of the issue talking while they dress only to shed the clothes for battle later. Clearly Abnett needed to give them something to do while they kept chatting, but in hindsight it’s a bit of a ruse since it’s all for not. Call it a long buildup for a quick joke, but certainly they could have been up to something else!
Never say that to Flash.
Is It Good?
The plot thickens as Earth 2: Society continues to be one of the best superhero comics on the stands. It offers a reality-bending premise that’s intriguing and feels very fresh.